15 Historical Monarchs Whose Reigns Were So Short They Barely Even Counted

Queen Elizabeth II became the world's longest-reigning monarch in 2016, and her multi-decade tenure stands in contrast to many rulers who weren't as lucky. Kings, queens, and even emperors come and go, but who was the shortest reigning monarch in history?

Many short-lived kings and queens ruled for periods of time ranging from a few months to just a few minutes. Some of them never got a proper coronation - like Lady Jane Grey, whose nine-day rule of England made her the shortest reigning British monarch - while others had reigns that were so short they were disputed or deemed illegitimate.

Regardless of the legitimacy of their reigns, however, all of the people on this list were the highest-ranking heads of state in their kingdoms for a brief window of time. Their reigns were shortened by everything from assassination and intrigue to democratic movements that sought to curb the authority of unelected leaders.